Rich List No Home for New Industries

Last Updated Apr 26, 2010 8:31 AM EDT

Last week's GDP figures started the IoD talking about an 'L' shaped recovery (not strictly a recovery at all then), yet this year's Sunday Times Rich List painted a different picture. Look at the richest of the rich and you might think the economy was booming â€"- the collective wealth of the richest 1,000 up 30 percent in a year.

Take the finance sector: hard hit by losses during the financial meltdown, the richest seem to have bounced back and then some -â€" 155 of the sector's richest increased their fortunes by 20 percent in 2009.

To name a couple , Peter Hargreaves of Hargreaves Lansdown's wealth is up £260m this year and hedge fund manager Louis Bacon of Moore Capital increased his fortune by 69 percent to £1.1bn, making him the 49th richest person in the UK.

But elsewhere,many of the richest in the UK come from 'old' industries â€"- Lakshmi Mittal's steel empire earned him over £22bn, Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Resources mining business expanded by an some £3,500m, retailers Sir Philip Green and the Westons and (lower down the list) Matalan boss John Hargreaves, whose fortune trebled to over £1bn.


So it's left to the Reuben brothers' datacentre empire, Global Switch, to represent 'new' industry in the top 10.

Likewise, the fast-trackers among business people are largely in 'industry' -â€" the London-based Norwegian Odfjell sisters of Odfjell Drilling Group, property tycoon Joseph Lau, and a clutch of industry barons such as Leonard Blavatnik.

Is it just me, or are these the sectors we've been consigning to the archives?

Here's the top 10 highest new entries in this year's list:

  1. Joseph Lau -- National rank: 12. Category: Property. Wealth: £3,825m
  2. Leonard Blavatnik -- National rank: 15. Category: Industry. Wealth: £3,000m
  3. Jean Claude Gandur -- National rank: 23. Category: Industry. Wealth: £1,778m
  4. Edgar Bronfman and family -- National rank: 25. Category: Inheritance and Warner Music. Wealth: £1,640m
  5. Antonio Luiz Seabra -- National rank: 34. Category: Cosmetics. Wealth: £1,460m
  6. Yusuf Hamied -- National rank: 40. Category: Pharmaceuticals. Wealth: £1,320m
  7. Helene and Marianne Odfjell and family -- National rank: 66=. Category: Shipping. Wealth: £875m
  8. Eugene Shvidler -- National rank: 75. Category: Oil and gas. Wealth: £802m
  9. Eduard Shifrin -- National rank: 78. Category: Industry. Wealth: £780m
  10. Sergei Pugachev -- National rank: 80=. Category: Finance. Wealth: £750m
(Pic: RickC, cc2.0)